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Association Forum Announces the 2016 Honors Award Recipients, Prepares for its Centennial Anniversary Celebration at Honors Gala

By Melissa Walling posted 07-02-2016 20:11

CHICAGO (April 5, 2016) — Association Forum is pleased to announce the 2016 Honors Awards recipients. This year, the Honors Award program will recognize four Association Forum members who have made exceptional achievements and contributions to the association management profession. The Honors Awards are distributed during Honors Gala, the signature fundraising event for Association Forum’s Foundation.

John C. Thiel Distinguished Service Award Recipients:

Carol Pape, CAE, Chief Operating Officer, Association of Professional Chaplains (association professional recipient)

Doug Bennett, Senior Vice President of Convention Development, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau (supplier partner recipient)

The John C. Thiel Distinguished Service Award is presented for outstanding service to the Association Forum by an individual association professional or supplier partner member. This award is presented for exceptional, long-term, volunteer service to the Association Forum, primarily through committee service or similar contributions. “Unsung hero” or “above and beyond the call of duty” are two ways to describe past recipients. This award is named in memory of the late John C. Thiel, CAE, Association Forum’s chairman-elect in 1990-91.

Association Professional Achievement Award Recipient:

Carla DeFlorio, CAE, Director, Chapter Relations, Healthcare Financial Management Association

The Association Professional Achievement Award is presented to an association professional member (not a Chief Executive Officer) for exemplary service and outstanding accomplishments in association management. This award reflects a high level of commitment to professional growth and personal pride in the association management industry.

Inspiring Leader Award Recipient:

Kimberly Hoarle, MBA, CAE, Executive Director for American Society for Healthcare Risk Management

The Inspiring Leader Award is presented to an individual who has established a culture leading to employee satisfaction, motivation, engagement and achievement.

Samuel B. Shapiro Award for Chief Staff Executive Achievement Award

In celebration of Association Forum’s centennial anniversary which is Sept. 28, 2016, all past Samuel B. Shapiro Award recipients have been invited to attend the Honors Gala on June 23, 2016 at Navy Pier. The Shapiro Award has been presented annually, since 1984, to a chief staff executive for outstanding accomplishments in association / nonprofit management. The next Samuel B. Shapiro Award for Chief Staff Executive Achievement Award will be given in 2017.

Association Forum has also invited all of its past Board Chairs to attend Honors Gala 2016 as they will be recognized as the organization reflects on its history and celebrates its centennial anniversary.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to take part in recognizing such a high-caliber group of professionals in our industry while celebrating our rich history and bright opportunities for the future," said Association Forum President and CEO Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE. "The characteristics of leadership and commitment that each of the Honors Awards recipients consistently demonstrate sets a very positive example that the entire association community can appreciate."

The Honors Awards recipients will be recognized June 22 during Forum Forward™ at The Geraghty in Chicago’s diverse and dynamic Pilsen neighborhood and Honors Gala—the Association Forum Foundation’s cornerstone fundraising event of the year—on June 23 at Navy Pier.

Development efforts for Honors Gala are being spearheaded by the Honors Gala Steering Committee Co-chairs, Patricia Blake, FASAE, CAE, CEO of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and Bill Grusich, CMP, FASAE, Senior Vice President, Associated Luxury Hotels International.

Blake recently stated, “The already wonderful Honors Gala will be even more special this year as we recognize the Forum’s century of service to the association community. I look forward to an evening in the beautiful Navy Pier Ballroom surrounded by colleagues that represent the best of the past, the dynamic leaders of today and the excited and progressive leaders of tomorrow.” Grusich added, “This is an opportunity to mingle with the people who have made your association career so special and to make new contacts who will impact your career into the future. It is an excuse to dress up, show up, and celebrate 100 years of the Association Forum’s support of this profession we cherish. We look forward to seeing you there.”

Since its inception in 2004, Honors Gala has raised more than $3M to support Association Forum’s Foundation—the chief beneficiary of the event. Under the leadership of Blake and Grusich, the goal for 2016 is to raise more money than ever to support the Foundation’s mission: to enhance Association Forum’s programs and services through new education, research and scholarships.

About Association Forum
The mission of Association Forum is to advance the professional practice of association management. Founded in 1916, Association Forum serves 44,000 association professionals whose efforts serve more than 27 million members and generate $38 billion in global annual expenditures. Visit for more information.